Minimize the Penalties for a First DUI Offense
Getting arrested and charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, can be scary, especially if this is your DUI first offense. You already know that the penalties for DUI are harsh, as the advertising campaigns put on billboards, radio, and TV have told people for years about how DUI is a serious offense. In fact, you may have even seen such slogans as “DUI – You can’t afford it.” Fortunately, if you are a first time offender, there are some options that you may be able to take that will help you lessen the penalties you are facing in your DUI case. Knowing what these options are is the first step to getting your life back on track after a DUI arrest.
Handling a DUI First Offense
The first step you may want to take is to try to get the charge reduced or thrown out entirely.
- You can claim that the officer who stopped you did not have probable cause, meaning he stopped you for a vehicle violation or other non DUI related offense, then started fishing for a DUI charge once he began to speak with you. You may also claim a number of different defenses such as improper administration of sobriety testing, or lack of certification or calibration of testing equipment.
If you are unsuccessful in getting the charge plea bargained down or thrown out entirely, you are not completely out of luck!
- Fortunately, the court system realizes that accidents happen and that people make mistakes. There are programs such as ARD or Accelerated Rehabilitation programs that will allow you to take classes about the dangers of drunk driving, attend a driving school, and undergo probation, after which time you will be able to have your record of the DUI removed or expunged. In addition, programs such as these for first time offenders can help you look good to the courts if you request them, because they show that you are intending to make things right and learn from your mistakes.
A third option for getting first time DUI charges reduced or dropped is to appeal to the court, with your attorney’s help, and prove that you are a good person who has not committed other crimes or had numerous other traffic violations.
- By showing the court that this was essentially a one time fluke occurrence, you may be able to have the charges plea bargained down to a lesser offense, or you may be able to get reduced fines or probation instead of incarceration.
The key to handling DUI charges and minimizing penalties is to get legal help. A qualified and experienced attorney can assist you in taking any and all steps available to you to lessen the severity of the DUI charges you may be facing.